Skip to content


Nov 02 2018

Goldilocks, Meet The Three Bears

  • Nov 2, 2018

During the stock market’s protracted retracement of its January/February decline, we speculated a few times that the final outcome might look similar to the bull market tops of 1990, 2000, and 2007.

Sep 08 2018

Breakout Or Fake-Out?

  • Sep 8, 2018

The S&P 500 has fully erased its January and February losses, but there’s probably a market message in the fact that it took so long to do so.

Aug 07 2018

Assessing The Correction

  • Aug 7, 2018

How do today’s cyclical conditions stack up with those accompanying other stock market declines? 

Aug 07 2018

A Launching Pad??

  • Aug 7, 2018

A few clients pointed out that the longest-ever recovery from an intermediate correction (Apr. 1994–Feb. 1995) became the base from which the S&P 500 would eventually triple over the next five years. We’re not equipped to address that possibility in an objective fashion, so we’ll let you be the judge.

Jul 07 2018

Trouble Is “Spreading”

  • Jul 7, 2018

Junk bond option-adjusted spreads (OAS) have remained relatively tight throughout the stock market pullback and recovery (Chart 1), assuring some bulls that the action is nothing more sinister than a “healthy and overdue” correction.

Jul 07 2018

Where’s The Spring In The Step?

  • Jul 7, 2018

Old age alone may not kill the bull, but it can make it more susceptible to an array of life-threatening maladies.

Jun 07 2018

Is The Bull Just Napping?

  • Jun 7, 2018

Old age has certainly put no limitations on the bull’s exploits, so we should be cautious in reading too much into its meandering recovery path. However, it’s possible that action since the February low is not a recovery process but rather a countertrend bounce within a larger downtrend.

May 05 2018

The “Correction” Clock Is Ticking

  • May 5, 2018

2018’s S&P 500 setback qualifies as an “intermediate” correction. Historically, the duration of intermediate corrections is brief, and recovery time to move back above prior highs has also been brief. This year’s retracement route is already among the most meandering of all recovery paths since 1950.

May 04 2018

Market Corrections And The Hazards Of Old Age

  • May 4, 2018

In difficult markets, we have become more appreciative of some of life’s small gifts. For example, it’s been quite a while since we’ve heard it argued that this is “the most hated bull market of all time.”

Apr 06 2018

Assessing The Selling

  • Apr 6, 2018

While the January 26th bull market high illustrated none of the hallmarks of a major cyclical top, there are secondary signs that a stealthy distribution process may be underway, such as an overwhelming bias toward opening market strength followed by intraday weakness.

Apr 06 2018

A “Drug-Free” Market Decline?

  • Apr 6, 2018

Yields on 10-year Treasuries are up 10 bps since stocks peaked in January, a clear break from the behavior of prior corrections. The last four stock declines of 10%+ were self-medicating—having been accompanied by bond yield declines of 50 to 150 basis points.

Apr 06 2018

“What, Me Worry?”

  • Apr 6, 2018

Our shortest-term put/call measure has yet to reflect the level of fear usually triggered by a correction of this size. Meanwhile, the market setback has done almost nothing to stymy the optimism of either market newsletter writers or mutual fund timers.

Mar 07 2018

What’s Ailing Consumer Staples?

  • Mar 7, 2018

For the first time in this bull market, defensive stocks failed to provide any semblance of defense during a market correction.

Mar 07 2018

Nine Corrections In Nine Years

  • Mar 7, 2018

The stock market’s nine-day decline off its January 26th high met our definition of an intermediate correction—an S&P 500 loss of between 7-12%.

Mar 07 2018

The Correction That Scared No One

  • Mar 7, 2018

The setback from the January 26th market peak represents the ninth correction of 7% or more since 2009, the most ever recorded during a single cyclical bull market.

Feb 07 2018

Stock Market Observations

  • Feb 7, 2018

We believe the decline from the broadly-inclusive market highs of late January is a yet another late-cycle correction and not the first installment of something more sinister.

Feb 07 2018

Most Likely Just A Correction

  • Feb 7, 2018

So, what happened to the January Barometer—the old analyst’s maxim that a market gain in January portends a gain for the full year?

Jan 06 2018

2018 Time Cycle—Beware A Fall Correction

  • Jan 6, 2018

The most common 2018 time-cycle pattern among major markets is a fall correction, with the U.S. and Japan faring better than their European counterparts.

Aug 05 2017

Stock Market Observations

  • Aug 5, 2017

The S&P 500 and DJIA were up 10-11% on the year through early August—solid, but not quite the “melt-up” scenario we’d envisioned earlier this year…We think S&P 500 2,550-2,600 will be achieved, but not until year-end…

Aug 05 2017

Cashing In A Few Chips

  • Aug 5, 2017

Through early August, the S&P 500 had matched last year’s total return gain of 12%, while futures on that index have gained more than 20% from their after-hours lows made on election night.

Mar 07 2017

What A Strong “Tape” Does (And Doesn’t) Mean

  • Mar 7, 2017

Our disciplines remain bullish, but we periodically wonder whether we’re being too cavalier in keeping our tactical portfolios “almost” fully-invested (at 65% equities) in the face of valuations that are higher than those seen in all but perhaps 24 months of stock market history.

May 06 2016

Valuations: The Correction That Never Was

  • May 6, 2016

The correction failed to meaningfully “reset” any long-term valuation measures, hence, we don’t view the current environment as having much investment merit, but rather, primarily speculative appeal.

Apr 07 2016

Ruminations On The Correction

  • Apr 7, 2016

If our market disciplines turn bullish in the weeks ahead, we’ll certainly follow that lead—covering remaining shorts, re-establishing a semi-aggressive market position, and wiping egg off our faces for having called a “cyclical bear market” that slammed the Russell 2000 (-26%), EAFE (-26%), and Emerging Markets (-37%)… but somehow not the one most followed, the S&P 500 (-14%).

Mar 08 2016

Just A Costly Correction?

  • Mar 8, 2016

If February 11th marks a lasting low for stocks, the 2015-16 decline will go down as one of the costliest in history not to have reached bear market status.

Feb 05 2016

Beware The Deceptive S&P…

  • Feb 5, 2016

At its January 20th closing low, the S&P 500’s peak-to-trough decline of –12.7% barely met our definition of a severe market correction (an S&P 500 loss of 12% to 18%). But the behavior of this particular index can be quite sinister during the final phase of a bull market—and during much of the ensuing bear.

Feb 05 2016

The Bullish Case: A Mental Exercise

  • Feb 5, 2016

We’ve been correctly positioned near our tactical portfolios’ equity minimums, yet we’re oddly compelled to use this month’s “Of Special Interest” section as a very public second-guessing of that move.

Oct 07 2015

Stock Market Observations

  • Oct 7, 2015

The August market break did not emerge from out of the blue. The foundation for the bear case was put in place many months before those four ugly days in late August.

Sep 09 2015

A Page For The Bulls

  • Sep 9, 2015

While we have a high level of conviction on our August bear market call, we should emphasize that our disciplines trump opinions.

Feb 07 2014

Anatomy Of A Correction

  • Feb 7, 2014

While the current market setback of –5.8% doesn’t qualify as an intermediate correction, it’s close enough to the threshold to warrant a quick review of what such a correction—and the ensuing recovery—might look like.

Jul 08 2013

A Correction Preview?

  • Jul 8, 2013

Was the brief taper-induced pullback a sign of what’s to come down the road?  If so, we looked at what factors performed well and what factors didn’t in response to the rising rate environment.

Jun 06 2012

Major Trend Bending, But Not Breaking...

  • Jun 6, 2012

The April/May swoon (an S&P 500 loss of -9.9%) has been accompanied by significant deterioration in our Major Trend Index. But the latest reading (data through June 1st) stayed positive, and our best guess is that it will hold firm.

Jun 06 2012

Down Ten Percent...In A "Better Than Average" Year?

  • Jun 6, 2012

While this is not our forecast, some investors will no doubt be mortified to learn that a “typical” calendar year (again, if there were such a thing) contains a drawdown as large as –13.5%.

Sep 04 2011

Another Swoon Coming

  • Sep 4, 2011

Several U.S. indexes and world stock markets have already lost 20% or more from recent peaks, satisfying the parameter for a bear market.


Jul 05 2011

“Just Another” Summer Correction

  • Jul 5, 2011

After annual summer correction re-run, we believe the market swoon is over, having produced a garden variety correction of -7.2%.

May 04 2011

Markets (Mostly) In Gear

  • May 4, 2011

Market in gear, with almost all market indices hitting new highs in tandem. Would be unusual for a market correction with this type of uniformity.


Sep 03 2010

Major Trend More Bearish As Market Enters Historically Weakest Month

  • Sep 3, 2010

August turned out to be a very volatile month, not the “doldrums” that many investors would have wanted to see during this traditional summer vacation month. Budding optimism that had developed in investors back in April has now apparently been completely washed out by the poor August performance.

Aug 03 2010

Buckle Up For The “Doldrums”

  • Aug 3, 2010

Beware summer doldrums, August has a knack of sometimes being a crazy month. Market continues to be viewed as being in a severe correction mode, rather than a full fledged bear market.



Jul 06 2010

A Non-Economic Bear?

  • Jul 6, 2010

A market decline much beyond 20% could be labeled a “non-economic” bear market. Outstanding feature of past “non-economic” bear markets has been their brevity.

Jun 03 2010

Here We Go Again?

  • Jun 3, 2010

Doug Ramsey looks at the history of “severe” market corrections (declines of 12% to 18%), and contrasts that with true bear markets.

Apr 05 2010

Using A Few Bear Arguments To Make A Bullish Case

  • Apr 5, 2010

Doug Ramsey utilizes several bear market arguments to build a bullish case. Rising Interest Rates, Overbought Market, Low Volatility, and Low Trading Volumes, can all be looked upon in a BULLISH light.